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I love Chinoiserie decor. Why, you ask? Well, is there anything prettier? More playful or timeless? I think not. The use of Chinoiserie design has been around since trade opened up to the Orient hundreds of years ago, and right now it has definitely come back as a design trend. The Eighteenth Century English could not get enough blue and white china to fill their country houses, and today, use of Chinoiserie can apply to just about everything from wall coverings and furniture to decorative throw pillows and ceramics
1. Uttermost Golden Voyage Wall Mirror. 2. Gold Finish High Bamboo Tray Table. 3. Pagoda Verde Iron and Glass Candle Lantern
Like anything else, too much can get theme-y, but a few choice items can make a room. As seen in the living room image above, a fresh contemporary color scheme is a great backdrop to Chinoiserie design.
4. Robert Abbey Peacock Triple Gourd Ceramic Lamp. 5. Floral Porcelain Decorative Plate with Stand
No need to go literal with a theme! The Chinoiserie wallpaper in this bedroom is made au currant with bold blue lamps and matching, funky blue accent tables that pick up the blue in the wall’s bird motif. Not sure about enveloping your walls in Asian glamour? Classic porcelain plates would look hot against stark white walls.
6. Metropolitan Asian Man Two Light Right Wall Sconce.
Another way to include Chinoiserie is by going less preppy and more exotic. Blacks and gold are another great way to use this style. I’m mad for the tortoise mirror which adds atmosphere. Any dark, decorative mirror could work just as well. Ornate gold sconces do not need to look fussy when used in a small intimate space. Think of them as jewelry!
To sum it up, some key Chinoiserie decor elements include pagoda-style anything, nature scenes with birds and flowers on walls and china, and pops of exotic black and gold.
Photos: Mix and Chic, Chinoiserie Chic.
Rob is a Los Angeles-based designer who has a background in art history and was an expert at Sotheby's auction house. Formerly the host of "Inside The Auction" for the Fine Living Network, speaker for The Learning Annex and contributing editor for Valley Magazine and LA Bride Magazine, he has spent years bridging the gap between the world of design and the general public.
His design sensibilities are varied and can work in both traditional and contemporary styles. His interiors have most recently been published in Renovation Style Magazine.